King Digital Outspends Microsoft, Sony With TV Ads

When it comes to television advertising for video games, there’s no shortage of them. Microsoft has plenty of Xbox One ads to go around, and Activision has been giving a big push to its first-person shooter Destiny with a fun live-action ad. However, when it comes to how much is actually spent on these ads, no one can top King Digital Entertainment.

Starting earlier this year, the publisher of Farm Heroes Saga and Candy Crush Saga has managed to pay for 11 different TV spots, which have aired over a combined total of 34,000 times, according to a report from advertising intelligence company By comparison, Sony only paid for 3,000 ad views, while Microsoft more than doubled that with 7,500.

This may be due to the growth of the mobile market, which has generated more than $21 billion in revenue this year alone – and King plays a big part in that with its various social offerings. That would explain why other companies, like Supercell, Wargaming and Big Fish Games, are bumping up their efforts as well.

Supercell, which has been producing animated ads for its mobile hit Clash of Clans, has paid for 3,000 different TV spots, while Wargaming is close behind with 3,000 and Big Fish down to 1,000 – which still isn’t too shabby.

“We [would] spend, I would say on average, $100 million per quarter on paid marketing,” King chief financial officer Hope Cochran said, speaking during a Deutche Bank conference for investors. “And that has shifted, I would say, over the last couple of quarters, to — it was very mobile ad driven. And we’re still maintaining a strong presence there, but we do feel like we can reach a lot of our players through the cross-promo, and so we’ve been shifting those dollars to TV advertising over time.

Advertising costs can be a concern with companies, but considering that most of King’s releases remain in the top ten download sections for iOS and Android, it has no problem pushing out advertisements, even if the cost ran above $55 million in all. (That’s more than Microsoft spent with its $43 million Xbox campaign and Sony’s $30 million campaign, almost combined.)

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‘The Hunger Games’ Marketing Tie-Ins

With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 set to launch in theaters next month – and probably reach similar financial success as the previous films, thanks to main star Jennifer Lawrence – promotional companies have begun stepping up with tie-ins to the forthcoming blockbuster.

Lionsgate, the studio behind Hunger Games, announced various promotions today, including tie-ins with Doritos, Whole Foods Market’s Whole Planet Foundation and Mazda.

Doritos already has a program in place, working with Mazda on an app called “Our Leader the Mockingjay,” which will release on Apple and Android devices closer to the film’s release. In addition, specific bags of Doritos will feature Mockingjay-style themes, as well as codes that unlock new content within the app. An online sweepstakes will kick off shortly as well, with the grand prize being a trip to the U.S. premiere of the film.

Meanwhile, Mazda will be “the official automobile sponsor of the U.S. premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” according to a statement from the company. The company will offer the ability to scan the Mazda logo to unlock exclusive content for the film, as well as a design contest through Tumblr where parties have a chance at winning a special hovercraft.

Finally, the Whole Planet Foundation will offer a charity tie-in, donating $1 to a fun for global antipoverty microcredits with the purchase of a container of Courage of One juice from the Whole Foods stores. A sweepstakes will also launch soon, where entrants have a chance to win tickets to the film, as well as gift cards for their stores.

No doubt each of these promotions will play a huge part with the film’s release, and bask in its success, as previous companies have done with other films in the series, including 2012’s immensely popular Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 hits theaters on November 21st.

Source: Deadline

Microsoft Preparing Cloud Event This Month

There have been whispers about Microsoft considering using cloud-based technology in its products for some time, whether it’s backwards compatible gaming with its Xbox consoles or some form of compatibility with its Windows mobile devices. But no one is sure what the plan is yet – but we’re about to find out.

The company has announced that an event will take place in San Francisco on October 20th, with a huge focus on both “cloud” and “Azure,” according to a brief news statement. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Azure boss Scott Guthrie will be in attendance to discuss what’s in store.

Microsoft has made waves in San Francisco before, holding an event earlier this year to showcase its recently announced Windows 10 update, with a number of journalists getting a look at the forthcoming operating system.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that San Francisco is getting some love from the company, as it’s becoming more of a “cloud center” of sorts when it comes to the storage of details, right alongside Seattle – which isn’t far from where Microsoft’s home base is located. So that makes it a proper location for the announcement, which, again, could be some sort of indication as to how cloud-based technology will be utilized by its devices.

Nadella didn’t appear for the Windows 10 event, so many are believing that this announcement could be a much bigger deal with his presence. Having Azure’s Guthrie also coming along could mean that something big could be announced – and may help the company find greater success in the coming year.

We here at [a]listdaily will recap the event upon its conclusion, letting you know what big announcements were made, as well as speculation in terms of what cloud-based technology could do for Microsoft’s tools of the trade. One thing’s for sure – you’ll want a good upload speed if you don’t have one already.

Source: TechCrunch

Scary New Oculus Rift Project

By generating a virtual reality in smooth running 3D, the Facebook-bought Oculus Rift enables experiences that users haven’t seen before. And for some developers, it’s a prime opportunity to create something unique – like something that could easily scare your pants off.

A new project from the University of Art and Design in Lausanne has surfaced, with interactive designer Simon de Diesbach working on something new with the Rift headset. With the new program, titled OccultUs, Diesbach looks to deepen the VR experience as we know it, using virtual reality with real-world sounds provided through a sound effects booth that’s nearby.

What’s the goal of the project? Simple – scare whoever’s using it. “With the OccultUs, I wanted to immerse the user in a sensory experience made up of two distinct realities blended together: the palpable reality of the ‘real’ world, and the simulated reality of VR,” de Diesbach explains.

Normally, Oculus VR-based projects enable the user to see a new world, while they can still hear what’s going on in the real one. With this project, however, sounds are muffled, forcing the user to become more vulnerable than with a usual game.

Pepsi Will ‘Do What Hollywood Can’t’ Via Digital Video

by Jessica Klein

Where Hollywood is failing to meet the needs of today’s content consumers, PepsiCo’s CMO of global consumer engagement, Frank Cooper III, says others in the entertainment world will pick up that slack. As he told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman at its annual media conference, TheGrill, “If [Hollywood] doesn’t evolve, someone will fill that place of telling stories, especially across these new delivery systems.”

So who’s filling that storytelling space so far According to Cooper, it’s the likes of Maker Studios and Fullscreen… but it’s not their direction that PepsiCo brands are heading in when it comes to video content.

Maker and Fullscreen represent the aggregation content model, gathering creators and networks that needn’t have anything in common other than the fact that they put out popular videos. PepsiCo, on the other hand, is leaning towards a model that’s “about having a particular cultural point of view and then drawing in creators around that,” explained Cooper. He considers AwesomenessTV an example of this POV-first structure.

“Brands that are within the Pepsi system are moving more towards that model,” Cooper said, “because a brand has to stand for something…that’s where the action is for us.” Thus, PepsiCo is working on platforms where its brands can put out content under a certain cultural niche. Brands need to engage viewers with a story, these days, and PepsiCo’s will be telling theirs online.

A multitude of PepsiCo brands already have YouTube channels, from Pepsi (of course) and Lays to Gatorade and Starbucks.

Notably, the marketer also has a partnership with Maker Studios, an aggregator, to co-create branded content through the Labs@Maker program.That deal was announced during the MCN’s Newfront in May.

Here’s an excerpt of Cooper’s interview at TheGrill:


This Week’s [a]list Jobs – October 8

[a]listdaily is now your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings.

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

For last week’s [a]list jobs, click here.

YouTube Inches Closer To Hollywood Studio; Structures Content Division

by Jocelyn Johnson

While the seat of YouTube’s former VP of content operations  Tom Pickett has barely cooled, YouTube has now restructured its content division under the leadership of the site’s Head of YouTube Originals Alex Carloss.

YouTube has confirmed that the company has upped Tim Shey, director of development for YouTube Spaces and former Next New Networks founder, to head of scripted content. We’re also told that YouTube’s current head of investment strategy Ivana Kirkbride, who will take the unscripted title, and head of content strategy Ben Relles, who is now head of comedy, are also part of the division. YouTube is also on the hunt for a Head of Family Entertainment and Learning.


So as YouTube makes moves to inch closer to the Hollywood studio model, what kinds of content might we see ?
We’re told that this group will be in charge of overseeing scripted, non-scripted, and special projects that will receive funding from YouTube. In many ways, this could take shape like the “YouTube Nation” deal or similar to the other funding the video site has done to date.

While most of the projects being considered at present are short form, the next 12-to-18 months will be a testing bed for YouTube as it experiments with short-form formats that can also transition to television (i.e. 12 x 11 minute episodes that could be repackaged as 6 x 22 minute episodes). Think season three of “Video Game High School,” which YouTube is also rumored to have partly funded.

Structuring the content rollout in this way would give YouTube a potential windowing and monetization strategy. However, we may also see longer-form short films or feature-length projects being supported, though one source tells us that all content will have to be global and endemic to the platform.

And what of distribution?  Given that YouTube is the largest open platform for video consumption (with Facebook close at its heels), the content would initially run on YouTube for free and not behind a subscription pay wall; however, as YouTube sorts out its windowing and monetization, we may see the company run tests on Google Play, where one model could be rolling out episodes on a weekly basis while charging a fee for super-fans to gain access to full seasons.

Either way, in order for YouTube to make true headway as a digital studio, it’s going to need to match the marketing muscle with the piggy bank, and put a model in place that recoups the investment.

Now that YouTube has officially entered the IP game, it’s going to be a fun next couple years as the company tries to make yet another content initiative successful.

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

The Hype Is Over For Instagram’s Hyperlapse

Facebook likes to experiment with new ideas, but after the initial excitement of projects like Slingshot, Paper and others, one barely hesitates to call them failures. The same is true of Instagram’s Hyperlapse app, which garnered a lot of attention and was used by some notable brands (check out our favorites), but now only 6 weeks post-launch has sadly gone the way of the Poke app.

So what is it about Facebook’s ambitious but ultimately abyssmal app experiments? Are they too segmented? Is creating a separate app the wrong thing to do? Did the idea just not have as much staying power? After all, short-form video apps are hot right now (Vine, Snapchat), so why did this flunk?

With new apps and content to pay attention to every day it seems, perhaps on mobile we are becoming spoiled by novelty and Hyperlapse’s 15 seconds literally wore out.

Facebook is not so concerned. “We aren’t focused on downloads and App Store rankings right now,” said a Facebook spokesperson to VentureBeat. Hyperlapse was merely a side project of Facebook’s engineers working on nights and weekends and moreover, Facebook “never expected it to be an everyday app for the mainstream.”

These Creators Are Killing It On Mobile

Mobile, unsurprisingly, is making it easier than ever to create and share content in new and interesting ways. With apps like Vine, Instagram and Snapchat that create content specifically for and by the mobile audience, there are creators that inevitably stand out and catch the attentions and imaginations of brands and their followers.

We’ve highlighted just a few folks that are generating a lot of interest in this space and have the follower count to boast it. They’re working with incredible brands of all sorts and have a captivated audience that continues to be charmed by the short-form content they specialize in, whether they are Instagram photos or videos, Vine clips, or Snapchat Stories.

Instagrammers of Note

Jared Chambers is a photographer based in Los Angeles, California with over 300,000 followers on Instagram that are fans of his stunning landscape photos. Jared perfectly captures the wildnerness with its angular natural monuments and serenity. He has previously worked with Nike as part of #ProjectFlySF in which Nike tapped numerous Instagrammers to do a run in Half Moon Bay wearing the brand’s signature shoes.


View on Instagram

Anthony Danielle helms popular Instagram account @takinyerphoto, capturing scenes of every day New York life, highlighting everything from architecture, to street art and the city’s fashionable. He’s never short on inspiration or photographic subjects and has already done work for Puma, the W Hotels, Evian, Armani Exchange, Kerastase, Michael Kors and others.

Loadingcome with me – #realemojifaces

View on Instagram

Bex Finch is a 27-year-old freelance photographer and boy is she ever in demand by brands. Bex is just shy of 200,000 followers and is the creator of the popular #fromwhereistand hashtag where users take photos of their shoes. Bex has been able to travel abroad for tourism ministries in Israel and Iceland and tagged along for tours with music groups Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver.

Loading#fromwhereistand (stood) with trusty @tretorn! #tretorntales

View on Instagram


Viners of Note

Brittany Furlan ranks within the top 5 creators on the platform. When taking a look at her profile, it’s easy to see why. Brittany has a keen sense of comic timing and her own brand of slapstick that marries well with Vine’s 6-second limitations. Here’s a Vine she created just for Jack in the Box:

Jack and Jack are comprised of comedy duo Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky that are making videos on Vine that Gen Z’ers relate to and find hilarious. They have 4.5 million followers on the platform and are quickly approaching 1 billion loops.


Snapchatter of Note

Going viral on a social platform that prides itself in creating content that disappears takes a heap of talent to stand out in. Shaun McBride aka Shonduras accrued over 140,000 followers and was courted by brands like Taco Bell, Disney and MLS, for his adept skills at combining real photos with hand drawn overlays that are quite fantastical. We featured him previously on [a]listdaily here.


Data Suggests ‘Second Screen’ Might Be A Misnomer


The term “second screen” might be on its way out. As increasing attention is paid to digital content, TV is now just another screen competing for eyes against multiple interactive ones. A new report from eMarketer, entitled “Simultaneous Media Use: Screen Fragmentation Complements Traditional Channels” points out that thinking of TV as being the dominant screen and the cell phone, tablet, or laptop as the secondary, complementary viewing screen is wrong.

A majority of the activity happening while viewers watch the show isn’t in direct correlation with watching and engaging with it via social media, as it turns out. Often people are doing completely unrelated tasks showing viewers are really multitasking while watching media.

Interestingly, viewers aren’t necessarily opting out of watching ads: 78 percent of ‘second screening’ happens while shows are on, while 71 percent happens during ads. Users aren’t accessing ‘second screens’ during their ‘down time,’ they are using them by and large throughout watching TV.